Back of the net for Flexyfoot! Our new product recognised at BHTA’s Independent Living Design Awards

Following a one and a half mile walk through drifting snow to get to the nearest drivable road, where we managed to get a taxi - and then endured a frozen five hour train journey (that should've taken 35 minutes), we were delighted to arrive just in time to see our client Flexyfoot shine in its key industry awards!

New British success story Flexyfoot was once again been recognised as one of the most innovative products in the mobility market today, one offering significant quality of life improvement for people reliant on walking aids.

It beat some stiff opposition to be ranked number two in the prestigious British Healthcare Trades Association’s Independent Living Design Awards. Shock-absorbing, anti-slip Flexyfoot is designed to replace the old fashioned ferrule (or rubber tip) on crutches and walking sticks and revolutionise walking for the injured or infirm. The awards, now in their 15th year, celebrate the very best healthcare and assistive technology products in the UK, enabling elderly and disabled people to lead an independent life.

Flexyfoot is the brainchild of product designer David Goodwin, who was inspired to invent it by his family. Both his sister, who has MS, and his 95 year old mother complained to him about the difficulties and discomfort of using their walking sticks. They also found the rubber feet wore down much too quickly and were difficult to change. See:

Goodwin collected his award from Angela Rippon OBE, who was particularly inspired by the number of the glowing testimonials received from grateful Flexyfoot users.

Flexyfoot’s ILD award follows its earlier success when it was named a finalist in the enABLE awards, also celebrating product innovation and independent living.

Flexyfoot is available from, freefone 0800 0285 888 and selected retailers, chemists and mobility shops. Recommended retail prices are from £14 incl. VAT for a complete starter unit (comprising collar and foot) and from £28 incl. VAT for a pair. Replacement feet can then be purchased separately as and when they wear down.

Corks still popping after last week's Champagne Assembly

Perrier-Jouët and G.H. Mumm take Champagne to the next level...

Phew! Now we've come up for air, let's tell you about last week's inaugural Champagne Assembly. Created especially for Pernod Ricard UK by The View, it saw two of Champagne’s legendary Grande Marque Houses joining forces to host a series of workshops, lectures and tastings taking a fresh and innovative look at Champagne and the wider world of Luxury.

Based around a central theme of “Champagne: greater than the sum of the parts”, the full-day seminar examined the fascinating yet disparate elements which constitute Champagne and shape the concept of modern luxury, from grape to gastronomy, assemblage to art, economics to emotion.

Held at The Town Hall Hotel in Bethnal Green, the event attracted a large audience of UK press and industry observers and featured Chefs de Cave Hervé Deschamps and Didier Mariotti, accompanied by a prestigious panel of Champagne and Luxury Lifestyle experts.

Fresh perspectives were gained from the deliberately holistic and interactive approach employed, with subjects interrogated from a variety of thought-provoking viewpoints – ranging from consumer psychology to the science of food-pairing.

“Cuvee Belle Epoque & Mumm Cordon Rouge” saw Hervé Deschamps and Didier Mariotti lead tutored tasting sessions for some of the country’s finest sommeliers and wine writers. This saw unprecedented access to the vins clairs and vins de reserve used to create Perriet-Jouët’s prestige cuvee ‘Belle Epoque’ and Mumm Cordon Rouge NV – component wines rarely experienced outside the blending-rooms of the Champagne houses themselves.

“The Art of Assemblage” interactive workshop also saw the Perrier-Jouët Chef de Cave demonstrate the complexity involved in blending the House’s Grand-Cru wines to create the final champagne.

In a fascinating cross-category comparison, he was accompanied by master perfumer Roja Dove and Philippa Thacker from Twinings, in an impressive demonstration of the expertise and individual skill of the master craftsman.

“G.H.Mumm – the perfect match” saw a scientific approach to food-pairing which tipped conventional food & wine combinations on their head. Using gas chromatography, leading flavourist Danny Hodrien deconstructed at a molecular level the individual flavour compounds of Mumm’s range of champagnes, allowing Urban Caprice Executive Chef Iain Graham to devise the perfect food-match for each, pairing them with scientifically complementary, as opposed to contrasting, foods.

“Emotion: the intangible force of Luxury” put the role of champagne and other luxury goods and services under the spotlight, in the context of the modern consumer and current financial climate.

Speaker Lucia Van Der Post, founder of “FT How to Spend It” magazine, was accompanied by luxury leather goods designer Bill Amberg, Professor of Developmental Psychology Karen Pine, Manfred Abraham of Interbrand and Pernod Ricard’s luxury & creativity director, Vadim Grigorian.

Champagne expert Giles Fallowfield and Fflur Roberts of Euromonitor International also delivered lectures assessing how the global Champagne market has begun to rebound following a recession-related dip and outlining their future predictions for the category.

Neil Phillips, Brand Ambassador for both Grande Marque champagnes, commented
“Today’s sessions show how important it is to understand every aspect and dimension of Champagne – from grape characteristics to global luxury trends.

Without this, it is impossible to create the truly meaningful consumer experience for which both Perrier-Jouet and GH Mumm strive. This is the motivation behind both Grandes Marques’ mission to take their understanding to the next level…”

Do take a look at the Champagne Assembly con the newly launched website:

Hazardous jobs No. 43: being a celebrity... Radio 1's Matt Edmondson swells legions of celebrity walking wounded

When it comes to dangerous careers, firemen or construction workers might spring to mind. But if the recent crop of celebrities hobbling on crutches is anything to go by, it’s celebrities and pop stars who should be on the ‘at risk’ register.

Clever new mobility product Flexyfoot (which The View is PRing), has seen a marked increase in celebrities coming a cropper. This ‘just launched’ gadget would be perfect for these unlucky celebs. It attaches to the end of crutches and walking sticks – to radically increase grip on the ground, lessen slippages and provide shock absorption for aching shoulders, elbows and wrists.

Radio One's Matt Edmondson has just announced he's hobbling on crutches with a severe sprained ankle Jon Bon Jovi has just come off his after tearing his calf muscle onstage, Jedward’s Edward Grimes recently sported a gold pair after tearing a ligament at T4 on the Beach. The Saturdays’ Mollie King has also been on sticks, following a major altercation with a horsefly. And Justin Bieber spent a while on crutches after breaking his foot, onstage, in front of 11,000 fans!

Flexyfoot is invented by leading British product designer David Goodwin and promises to do for the crutch, walking stick and Zimmer frame what Dyson has done for the vacuum cleaner.

It is designed to replace the old fashioned ferrule (or rubber tip) on walking aids and revolutionise getting around for the injured or infirm. Flexyfoot gives 50 per cent more grip on floors and ground surfaces than ferrules (it’s particularly good in the wet), and eases the significant aches and pains associated with constant stress and impact on joints. With its patented air-sprung technology, Flexyfoot bends and can rotate right round, meaning users can easily turn on their walking aids.

It’s also perfect for people of all ages and levels of fitness, from sportsmen to children to the elderly – and even rock gods, either on a temporary or permanent basis. It has been developed over three years, trialled via a pioneering orthopaedic surgery unit and tested to destruction.

See more at (oh, and you can see the video we shot there too, but in true crowd-sourcing style, we used real patients, rather than A-listers)

Flexyfoot video

Flexyfoot, the amazing new concept in walking aids, has been dipping its toe into the motion picture waters.

Last week we
made a film demonstrating the efficacy and ease of use of Flexyfoot. A few years ago this would have taken days, required numerous set-ups, cost a lot and yet would end up with something not looking great and not explaining too much. Our session took a few hours in a studio, using some of the best in modern film technology and will look great.

To really see Flexyfoot in action (absorbing the impact, fully in contact with the surface, being able to rotate) required some pretty precise filming and using some brilliant lighting and professional camera work.

It also helps to have some fantastic talent backing up the technology. David Goodwin, the designer of Flexyfoot came along having constructed all of the props, even making a few amendments on the day. Orlando and Frank from Grain Media directed and filmed expertly, and we managed to cover all the necessary product points and benefits as per the script.

Look out for the video online in a few weeks at

The View Tube

The View Tube is one of the latest offerings delivered by Urban Space Management. A company dedicated and known for economic renewal of run down or under utilised space for retail, workshop and community uses, in imaginative and cost effective ways. The View Tube is located on The Greenway opposite adjacent to the Olympic Park in East London.

Built using recycled shipping containers, by Urban Space Management, we love them already! It is a social enterprise and community venue which includes a café, education, arts and information spaces. The spaces are available to artists to exhibit their work and interpretation of the Olympics development.

Their environmental involvement does not just stop at the building of the venue. View Tube Learn is a unique place where regeneration and sustainability is taught in interactive workshops for primary and secondary education, led by London Wildlife Trust and Field Studies Council.

We at The View rate this venue highly, and support its use and education of re-using materials and its lessons on sustainability. They might find this a useful tool when trying to teach school kids the importance of sustainability, speaking their language, so to speak: Let's Get Sustainabizzled

The Alternative View

Looking at our namesake across the pond, The View, US-stylee, is still making waves following Barack Obama's appearance on the show last week.

Very witty blog from The Guardian's Richard Adams: - and the show itself, if you have the time to view...

What next - The Brokeback Coalition on Loose Women?

The View achieves PR industry gold standard in record time

The View achieves PR industry gold standard in record time. Click here to read the press release.

Lettuce blog again

In spite of the drought, it's salad days again for us as we're overrun with lettuce in the staff allotment.

Lunches are getting a little bit boring - any ideas on what to do with three hundred weight of red salad bowl and round old favourite?

Cool colours for a hot day

Just picked this up from Daily Candy this morning. Luscious ices pretty much in our corporate colours. How cool is that?

Here's the article:

The Inside Scoop
Dri Dri Gelateria Opens

Need an excuse to eat ice cream? (Really?) Head to Dri Dri, the new gelateria opening this afternoon on Portobello Road, and you’ll find eight delicious ones.

1. Traditional Italian ice cream is made on-site using fresh ingredients (organic milk from local farms, lemons from Sorrento, liquorice from Calabria, Comice pears and Granny Smith apples from France, handpicked mandarins from Spain).

2. No artificial flavouring, colouring, emulsifiers, unnatural thickeners or other long words.

3. Flavours include Sicilian pistachio, stracciatella with dark chocolate chips, yoghurt, biscotto (artisanal cookies from Lugano), custard cream (free-range egg and Sorrento lemon peel).

4. Sorbets (pink grapefruit, strawberry, raspberry, cherry) have zero per cent fat.

5. Specialties such as affogato (espresso served over a scoop of vanilla gelato), brioche with gelato and frappes are available at the coffee bar.

6. Perch at a window seat with a view of the bustling Portobello Market or take away a half- or one-liter container.

7. Dri Dri opens today after 1 p.m. and will be giving away free tasters of gelato and sorbet while stocks last.

8. Owner Adriano di Petrillo (Dri Dri for short) is a dashing Italian man. Oh, and he graduated from Harvard Business School. Race you there.

Dri Dri, 189 Portobello Road, W11 2ED (

Planning & PR

By Andrew Serednyj, 15 March 2010

In much of the recent comment on the integration of ad agency styled planning into PR, the focus has been on the outputs. Having a planner in a PR agency naturally means better creative ideas and better evaluation.

Where there has been little comment is on how? What do planners do in a PR agency? And how does it change the traditional working practices and thinking of the agency?

An uncharitable view might be that PR agencies carry on working the way they always have done, but the addition of some clever thinking, talking and arguing will allow them to sell more interesting work and will naturally mean better evaluation.

The thing is; this isn’t how things work.

Firstly you need to distinguish between having a planning culture and just having planners. If nothing changes apart from some people called planners wandering around the agency, guess what, nothing changes.

Secondly it means having everyone at the agency adopting a new mindset. There is a tendency in PR to go straight from brief to execution without pausing for thought. For a planner to do some useful work they have to create a pause for thought. Whether it’s through the introduction of formal creative briefs or some other device, planning has to disrupt the traditional way of operating to give itself a chance of working.

Thirdly it should mean that the expectations of what planning helps to deliver in PR agencies, is properly presented. The sole aim of a planner is to produce more effective communications that address client problems and consumer needs. That’s it. If it’s a coupon promotion in The Daily Star that works, or a live webcast with your brand and Lady Gaga atop Big Ben that works, I don’t care as long as it works.

Having a clear picture of what ‘works’ allows you the chance to evaluate results properly. Evaluation is not about finding some kind of silver bullet of analytical veracity. The primary element that planning can add is by setting out objectives for activity that are clear, unique and therefore more likely to be measurable.

Planning has to make a difference to the PR agency before it can make a difference to the product of that agency.

Of course the easiest way of doing this for a planner is to start your own PR agency.

Believability – How PR Works

by Andrew Serednyj, 8 January 2010

Public relations is all about reputation. It's the result of what you do, what you say, and what others say about you. It is used to gain trust and understanding between an organisation and its various publics - whether that's employees, customers, investors, the local community - or all of those stakeholder groups.

This is taken from the PRCA website and explains what PR seeks to achieve for clients. PR’s objective.

From media relations and lobbying, to speaking at conferences, to online viral campaigns, to sponsorship - and more. PR isn't always about short-term campaigns, such as product launches. It can encompass longer-term strategic aims, such as brand building and working with local communities.

Again from the PRCA and listing all the various tools that PR uses to achieve trust, understanding and the management of a brand’s or client’s reputation. PR’s means.

What neither quote tells us – quite rightly as this is the bit that’s up to agencies and clients to work out – is how PR actually works. How does PR work, using the various means at its disposal, to ensure it achieves the objectives of trust / understanding and /or reputation?

Advertising has been the subject of numerous studies and effectiveness measurement programmes over the years. Millward Brown is the world’s leading research company when it comes to advertising tracking, measurement and effectiveness studies. In a recent paper it concluded that for TV advertising to work:

“your ads need to communicate something new, relevant, believable and differentiating. However, an ad which is not enjoyed may hinder its persuasiveness; an ad which is disliked is unlikely to be highly persuasive.”

Millward Brown: What Makes an Ad Persuasive, 2009

The ‘new, relevant, believable and differentiating’ elements are, to a large extent, dependent on the message and therefore sit under the control of the client and account teams. It is the creative work that takes on the responsibility of ensuring the advertising is likeable, therefore giving the message every chance of working. There are numerous additional studies that have over the years correlated the effectiveness of advertising with likeability ratings.

What is the key attribute that PR activity needs to exhibit to work? At The View, we believe, it’s believability.

Although it is an attribute contained within the Millward Brown study for advertising, it has even more relevance for PR. One of the historic claims for PR is that because it gains additional endorsement for a brand’s message through media, it is trusted more. For this to be the case then surely the key differentiating attribute must be the believability of the PR.

No amount of coverage, participation, engagement, attendance or hits will compensate for lack of message believability. It is quite possible that the measures used to assess whether an activity has achieved certain milestones are quite encouraging. But because people didn’t really believe the brand message whilst reading it, texting in or sampling it the PR hasn’t really worked.

As with advertising likeability, PR believability sounds obvious and not the most thrilling of insights but is in practice very difficult to achieve. Do you like every ad you see?

Gaining believability in your PR also sounds as if it requires approaches that are safe and solid; verging on the boring but actually greater innovation and creativity is what is really required.

Each year for instance, as the summer music festival season reaches its peak, a vast array of brands are busy sponsoring, providing online tie-ups, sampling, publishing guides, etc, etc. All express their love of music, empathy for festival goers, fun-loving attitude and general coolness. The truth is that not all of them will be or can be believed. The simple level of brand noise around these festivals means that some brands will be lost, seen as just ‘playing at being cool’ and not believed. The truth is that many brands are not really doing anything new, differentiating or relevant - and will not have their message believed despite achieving some participation or hits.

The survey is a further PR standard. But people can only read that ‘brand X is consumed or drunk by 10% of adults after sex’ so many times before they simply no longer believe. (The British people, if you aggregate these surveys, do appear to have a secret passion for pre-teatime sex).

Achieving believability therefore puts the onus on finding more innovative routes to your audience. It also places a greater emphasis on consumer understanding. Each market operates with different requirements for believability. Scientific proof combined with expert user endorsement is the standard route to being believed in many areas of health and beauty PR, while user imagery and experiences play a huge part in most drinks brand campaigns. In each market therefore PR needs to establish a route to believability.

Thinking about PR in terms of achieving believability places a responsibility on agencies to innovate more, think deeper and raise creative standards. But it also provides them with an answer to how PR is going to work. It needs to be PR you can believe in.